I recently learned of a JDRF campaign to increase type 1 diabetes awareness, in which people without diabetes can sign up to experience “virtual diabetes” for a day. During that day, they receive up to 24 texts prompting actions that simulate the frequent blood sugar testing, insulin injections, and dietary choices that people with type 1 diabetes must endure. JDRF thoughtfully notes on its website that “while no virtual campaign can re-create the many needles required or the physical and financial tolls of this serious disease, T1D for a Day seeks to deepen understanding of the many heroic steps our friends and loved ones with T1D take each day.”
When diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I was eighteen years old, scared, and confused. Although bone thin, I was older than the usual juvenile diabetic, so the doctor didn't know if I had type 1 or type 2 diabetes. At first, the doctor gave me pills to lower my blood sugar. I avoided carbohydrates and threw myself into exercise, then watched helplessly as the numbers on my blood sugar meter continued to rise.
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